The most recommended PTSD books

Who picked these books? Meet our 120 experts.

120 authors created a book list connected to PTSD, and here are their favorite PTSD books.
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What type of PTSD book?


Norco '80

By Peter Houlahan,

Book cover of Norco '80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History

Andrew Amelinckx Author Of Satellite Boy: The International Manhunt for a Master Thief That Launched the Modern Communication Age

From the list on narrative non-fiction that interweave crime and history.

Who am I?

I’ve been enthralled with history since childhood thanks to my late father, a college professor with a passion for the past. Our house was always filled with history books of all types and my father was a veritable encyclopedia who enjoyed answering my questions. When I became a crime reporter in the early 2000s, my predilection for history merged with my interest in crime and I ended up writing four books centered around historical crimes ranging in time from the 1700s to the 1960s. 

Andrew's book list on narrative non-fiction that interweave crime and history

Why did Andrew love this book?

Norco '80 is the kind of book that sticks with you long after you’ve finished reading it.

Peter Houlahan captures late 1970s Southern California in all its strangeness and gives a blow-by-blow account of one of America’s wildest bank robberies with perfect pacing that continues to ratchet up the action page after page. The shockingly violent robbery by five landscapers whose leader was an apocalyptic born-again Christian reshaped American law enforcement.

And we’re still feeling the aftereffects more than forty years later in the form of militarized police forces across the country. It’s a book that will keep you up at night telling yourself you’ll quit reading after one more chapter but, most likely, you’ll just keep going. 

By Peter Houlahan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Norco '80 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

5 young men. 32 destroyed police vehicles. 1 spectacular bank robbery. This “cinematic” true crime story transports readers to the scene of one of the most shocking bank heists in U.S. history―a crime that’s almost too wild to be real (The New York Times Book Review).

Norco ’80 tells the story of how five heavily armed young men―led by an apocalyptic born-again Christian―attempted a bank robbery that turned into one of the most violent criminal events in U.S. history, forever changing the face of American law enforcement. Part action thriller and part courtroom drama, this Edgar Award finalist for Best…

Finding Resilience

By Robert W. Schmidt, Kirsten D. Hammer (illustrator),

Book cover of Finding Resilience: Unlock the Door to Mental Health and Happiness

Sharon L. Cohen Author Of Disaster Mental Health Community Planning: A Manual for Trauma-Informed Collaboration

From the list on helping individuals respond to traumatic events.

Who am I?

Sometimes you need to search for the next roads to take in your life; other times these roads approach you. I was looking for new ways to use my long-term communication and mental health advocacy skills and then, sadly, the Sandy Hook shooting occurred. I immediately wanted to help community members ease their pain and assist cities nationwide to greatly improve their disaster mental health response. I never expected a pandemic would arrive only two months after I published, making my book all the more important. Now climate change is exacerbating our already stressful times, and we must act to stem mental health issues before they become out of hand.  

Sharon's book list on helping individuals respond to traumatic events

Why did Sharon love this book?

Bob Schmidt is a licensed professional counselor in Sandy Hook, Connecticut who has worked diligently to help shooting survivors and their families as well as others in the community with their emotional needs. He is known for utilizing state-of-the-art trauma therapy such as “Tapping,” (Emotional Freedom Technique), which has proven successful in treating PTSD. This book includes a wealth of examples of wellness techniques and trauma-response activities that have proven helpful in relieving high levels of stress and PTSD. These activities make individuals more resilient, so they are better prepared to face life’s challenges and learn to accept the ones they cannot change. Resiliency is one of the keys to happiness, and is increasingly found as a productive way to prepare for any possible disturbing event in the future. 

By Robert W. Schmidt, Kirsten D. Hammer (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Finding Resilience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Life is, and has always been, a series of challenges. Some challenges can be resolved easily, some are more difficult, and a few cannot be fixed at all. Resilient individuals are better prepared to deal with life’s challenges and learn to accept the ones they cannot change. Resiliency is one of the keys to happiness, and is found by learning a variety of coping skills and wellness techniques, as well as philosophy from experts in the counseling field. These are the same skills and approaches that I have successfully used with my clients in my private practice in Sandy Hook,…

Moon Brow

By Shahriar Mandanipour, Sara Khalili (translator),

Book cover of Moon Brow

Geoffrey Fox Author Of Rabble! A Story of the Paris Commune

From the list on fiction on revolutionary social change.

Who am I?

Chicago-born and now living in Spain, I was a community organizer in South America and the US before earning a PhD in sociology and becoming a college professor and author. I’ve written five nonfiction books and articles for publications including The New York Times, The Nation, Counterpunch, etc. Of my collection of short stories, Welcome to My Contri, the NY Times Book Review said that it “leaves us aware that we are in the presence of a formidable new writer.” In Rabble! I’ve called on my organizing experience as well as analysis and fiction to bring to life the actors in the first worker-run, self-governing society in the modern world.

Geoffrey's book list on fiction on revolutionary social change

Why did Geoffrey love this book?

Moon Brow describes the social tensions between ideals of freedom, religion, and authoritarianism that provoked Iran’s 1978 revolution, but only increased under Islamic rule. Amir, a formerly rich, wild playboy, flogged by the morality police after a drunken orgy, joins the army to escape shame and find meaning for his life in the brutal and futile 10-year war against Iraq. Commanding artillery in the borderland, he encounters the mysterious, sprite-like woman he calls “Moon Brow,” who, after an Iraqi shell maims him, becomes a magical force in his PTSD hallucinations. Her true identity will come as a rebuke for his comparatively pointless existence, while his sister’s spurning of her rich, pretentious suitor will be another rebuke, of his machismo. A brilliant evocation of the illusions that sustain violence.

By Shahriar Mandanipour, Sara Khalili (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moon Brow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From “one of Iran's most important living fiction writers” (The Guardian) comes a fantastically imaginative story of love and war narrated by two angel scribes perched on the shoulders of a shell-shocked Iranian soldier who’s searching for the mysterious woman haunting his dreams.

Before he enlisted as a soldier in the Iran–Iraq War and disappeared, Amir Yamini was a carefree playboy whose only concerns were seducing women and riling his religious family. Five years later, his mother and sister Reyhaneh find him in a mental hospital for shell-shocked soldiers, his left arm and most of his memory lost. Amir is…

Wave of Terror

By Theodore Odrach, Emma Odrach (translator),

Book cover of Wave of Terror

J. Conrad Guest Author Of A World Without Music

From the list on PTSD and overcoming oppression of the human spirit.

Who am I?

My father retired from the Marines before he married my mother. Sadly, he was more drill instructor to me than father. He never shared with me his experience on Okinawa, yet he was proud of his service. He kept in touch with several marines and attended many reunions. It was only after Dad’s death that I discovered With the Old Breed. Eugene Sledge told me everything my father withheld from me, and why he was the way he was. Today, Dad would be diagnosed with PTSD. Thus began a quest to read other accounts of wartime experiences, as soldiers and civilians, which led me to write A World Without Music.

J. Conrad's book list on PTSD and overcoming oppression of the human spirit

Why did J. Conrad love this book?

Hidden from the English-speaking world for more than 50 years, this panoramic novel begins with the Red Army invasion of Belarus in 1939. Ivan Kulik has just become headmaster of school number 7 in Hlaby, a rural village in the Marsh of Pinsk. Through his eyes, I witnessed the tragedy of Stalinist domination where people are oppressed, randomly deported to labor camps, or tortured in Zovty Prison in Pinsk.

The author’s individual gift that sets him apart from his contemporaries is the range of his sympathies and his unromantic, unsentimental approach to the sensual lives of women. His debt to Chekhov is obvious in his ability to capture the internal drama of his characters with psychological conciseness.

This historical novel serves as a stern warning against adopting socialism in America.

By Theodore Odrach, Emma Odrach (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wave of Terror as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This panoramic novel hidden from the English-speaking world for more than 50 years begins with the Red Army invasion of Belarus in 1939. Ivan Kulik has just become Headmaster of school number 7 in Hlaby, a rural village in the Pinsk Marshes. Through his eyes we witness the tragedy of Stalinist domination where people are randomly deported to labour camps or tortured in Zovty Prison in Pinsk. The author's individual gift that sets him apart from his contemporaries is the range of his sympathies and his unromantic, unsentimental approach to the sensual lives of females. His debt to Chekhov is…

The Great Alone

By Kristin Hannah,

Book cover of The Great Alone

Eileen Brill Author Of A Letter in the Wall

From Eileen's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Artist Hiker Swimmer Sign Language Interpreter

Eileen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Eileen love this book?

This story captures the realities of surviving the Alaska winters before the advent of the internet, cell phones, cable TV, or increased commercial development. The descriptions of the rugged terrain, the wild animals and the harsh weather put me right there in the story.

This is nothing I was at all familiar with, so it was fascinating to read what daily life was like before more modern-day technologies made things a little easier. Yet my takeaway was that the absence of those very things actually made communities in Alaska stronger because folks up there had no choice but to depend on and look out for each other.

I also loved the evolution of the protagonist, Leni, and what she experiences throughout the book made me chew off most of my ten fingernails.

By Kristin Hannah,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Great Alone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone, a desperate family seeks a new beginning in the near-isolated wilderness of Alaska only to find that their unpredictable environment is less threatening than the erratic behavior found in human nature.

#1 New York Times Instant Bestseller (February 2018)
A People “Book of the Week”
Buzzfeed’s “Most Anticipated Women’s Fiction Reads of 2018”
Seattle Times’s “Books to Look Forward to in 2018”

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter…

Closer to Nowhere

By Ellen Hopkins,

Book cover of Closer to Nowhere

Darlene Beck Jacobson Author Of Wishes, Dares, and How to Stand Up to a Bully

From the list on in verse with emotional themes.

Who am I?

I love the way verse novels eliminate unnecessary background and scene-setting. They cut straight to the heart of conflict and emotions. We instantly feel what the characters feel. The lyrical flow of words, figurative language, and freedom to arrange the poems in different ways on the pages taps into a different creativity for an author. Each poem stands alone, telling its own story. While writing Wishes, Dares, and How to Stand Up to a Bully, eleven-year-old Jack insisted I tell the story his way. Raw, unflinching, unfiltered. I am in love with this form and plan to write more novels in this format. The book is a 2021 NCTE notable verse novel.

Darlene's book list on in verse with emotional themes

Why did Darlene love this book?

Closer to Nowhere explores family dynamics and ‘tween feelings in an honest and realistic way. Two cousins – as opposite as left and right – seem to constantly be at odds. When they take time to actually communicate with each other, they realize they have more in common than they thought. Told in alternating POVs, the reader shares Cal and Hannah’s struggles as they tell them. Told with honesty and compassion.

By Ellen Hopkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Closer to Nowhere as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins's poignant middle grade novel in verse about coming to terms with indelible truths of family and belonging--now in paperback!

For the most part, Hannah's life is just how she wants it. She has two supportive parents, she's popular at school, and she's been killing it at gymnastics. But when her cousin Cal moves in with her family, everything changes. Cal tells half-truths and tall tales, pranks Hannah constantly, and seems to be the reason her parents are fighting more and more. Nothing is how it used to be. She knows that Cal…

One Base at a Time

By David R. Mellor,

Book cover of One Base at a Time: How I Survived PTSD and Found My Field of Dreams

Dale Scott Author Of The Umpire Is Out: Calling the Game and Living My True Self

From the list on inspirational stories from Major League Baseball.

Who am I?

With 37 years as a professional umpire, the last 32 with MLB, you can’t help but have a ton of stories. The umpire books I recommend have those and more. Funny, entertaining, revealing, and educational, hearing what happened from the person it was happening to give a unique look to America’s pastime. Being the first active male big 5 sports official (Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer) to come out as gay in 2014, I also understand the added stress that brings and the courage it takes to live your true self on such a big stage.

Dale's book list on inspirational stories from Major League Baseball

Why did Dale love this book?

A different look at the dream of being in the big leagues, this time not from an umpire but the person who puts the field in field of dreams.

David Mellor was a talented player whose aspirations were crushed, literally, after a car struck him in a McDonald’s parking lot. Setbacks, traumas, and unbelievably getting mowed down again by a deranged driver, he unwarily suffered PTSD.

Through it all he persevered to rise up as the Head Groundskeeper of his beloved Boston Red Sox, renowned as one of the best in all of baseball. 

By David R. Mellor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Base at a Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Dave Mellor has built one of baseball's most inspirational stories over the last half-century. Anchored by a love for his family and the game, he survived incomprehensible catastrophes and PTSD to become a pioneering ballfield artist and head groundskeeper for Fenway Park."

-Buster Olney, ESPN

On July 10, 1981, David Mellor was just a baseball-crazed kid, a star high school pitcher preparing to go to college and dreaming of one day taking the mound in Fenway Park for his beloved Boston Red Sox. His dream was derailed as he crossed the parking lot of a McDonald's. He heard the racing…

The Soldier's Refuge

By Sabrina York,

Book cover of The Soldier's Refuge

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Author Of At Face Value

From the list on the lessons learned by triumphant heroes.

Who am I?

I’m the daughter of an Army drill sergeant, widow of an Air Force veteran, granddaughter, niece, and cousin to veterans who served during both World Wars, in Vietnam, and beyond. I am a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. One of my grandfathers suffered from PTSD and I’ll never forget a moment in my childhood when during a family picnic to welcome home my cousin from Vietnam, a car backfired in the street, and he dived under a picnic table for cover since days earlier he’d been in a war zone. I’ve visited VA hospitals where bitter veterans taunted each other for being a “cripple” and broke my heart.

Lee's book list on the lessons learned by triumphant heroes

Why did Lee love this book?

This is the most recent of the books I’ve picked, just released in May 2023. When I read the jacket blurb, I knew I’d have to read it since it was another story about a troubled veteran suffering from PTSD and a woman forced by circumstances to return to her hometown.

I like second-chance romance stories and that’s an element here, along with Jax’s PTSD issues. He’s isolated himself from most people except a few family members, but some old sparks ignite when Natalie returns home. Jax needs to find some forgiveness and redemption before he can move forward and that’s where Natalie comes in.

By Sabrina York,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Soldier's Refuge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When two friends rediscover one another…

It might be for keeps.

Natalie Tuttle fled her hometown—and its humiliations—for big-city life. When she must return after her mother falls ill, the last person she wants to see is Jaxon Stringfellow, the onetime friend who shattered her heart. But military veteran Jax is so much more than the boy he once was. And he’s coming to terms with his own demons. Can Nat grant him the forgiveness he seeks…and so much more?

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

The Tuttle Sisters of Coho Cove

Book 1: The…

Walking It Off

By Doug Peacock,

Book cover of Walking It Off: A Veteran's Chronicle of War And Wilderness

Guy McPherson Author Of Killing the Natives: A Retrospective Analysis

From the list on the beauty and power of the American West.

Who am I?

I spent most of my life in the western United States. Born and raised in northern Idaho, a professorial position attracted me to Tucson, Arizona, the long-time home of Edward Abbey. Cactus Ed said it best: “The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more defenders. Remaining silent about the destruction of nature is an endorsement of that destruction.” Upon reading books by Abbey and others writing about the American West, I became a defender of the idea of wilderness.

Guy's book list on the beauty and power of the American West

Why did Guy love this book?

Peacock is one of two authors who make me want to put down the book and take a hike. I am an avid reader, and the ability of Peacock to make me put down his book is astonishing. Walking it Off is simultaneously a personal journey in light of the death of his friend Edward Abbey and also a pragmatic guide to hiking in the southwestern United States. This book reveals Peacock and his relationship with Edward Abbey, the desert anarchist.

By Doug Peacock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Walking It Off as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When he wrote The Monkey Wrench Gang in 1975, Edward Abbey became the spokesperson for a generation of Americans angered by the unthinking destruction of our natural heritage. Without consultation, Abbey based the central character of eco-guerilla George Washington Hayduke on his friend Doug Peacock. Since then Peacock has become an articulate environmental individualist writing about the West's abundant wildscapes. Abbey and Peacock had an at times stormy, almost father and son relationship that was peacefully resolved in Abbey's last days before his death in 1989. This rich recollection of their relationship and the dry places they explored are recalled…

The Drifter

By Nick Petrie,

Book cover of The Drifter

Cam Torrens Author Of Stable: Someone is Taking Them...

From the list on suspense about veterans solving problems as civilians.

Who am I?

When I retired from the service, I wanted to be done with big decisions and just focus on family. I’d had enough war-zone drama. I’m drawn to stories where the veteran finds he/she just can’t do that. My protagonist in my debut, Stable deals with this. He’s overcome so much…the loss of his son, the loss of an aircrew, and years of depression. Now that he’s “back,” he just wants to lead a normal life. I wanted to show you can pull the veteran from the battlefield, but it’s hard to quell his or her desire to continue to serve—and the inherent conflict of service before self or family remains.

Cam's book list on suspense about veterans solving problems as civilians

Why did Cam love this book?

I highly recommend Nick Petrie's The Drifter and his follow-on books in the series.

The protagonist, Peter Ash, struggles with the debilitating effects of PTSD. Despite his desire to escape from society, he finds himself drawn back into it after the suicide of a fellow Marine. As he helps the man's widow with home repairs, Ash stumbles upon a shocking discovery that thrusts him back into a society filled with deceit and intrigue.

What makes this novel stand out is Petrie's sensitive and deep portrayal of Ash's struggle with PTSD. Ash's experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have left him haunted by memories and struggling to adjust to civilian life. His white static, which he describes as a buzzing claustrophobia, is a constant reminder of the trauma he's endured.

But, as the reader will discover, Ash is a remarkably resilient character who is determined to do what's right—regardless of his personal…

By Nick Petrie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Drifter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first explosive thriller featuring Peter Ash, a veteran who finds that the demons of war aren’t easily left behind...

“Lots of characters get compared to my own Jack Reacher, but Petrie’s Peter Ash is the real deal.”—Lee Child

Peter Ash came home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with only one souvenir: what he calls his “white static,” the buzzing claustrophobia due to post-traumatic stress that has driven him to spend a year roaming in nature, sleeping under the stars.

But when a friend from the Marines commits suicide, Ash returns to civilization to help the man’s widow…

Mercy's Heroes

By Tom Crowley,

Book cover of Mercy's Heroes: The Fight for Human Dignity in the Bangkok Slums

Dian Seidel Author Of Kindergarten at 60: A Memoir of Teaching in Thailand

From the list on helping “farangs” understand what makes Thailand tick.

Who am I?

After retiring from a career in climate science, I reinvented myself as an English teacher, a yoga instructor, and a writer. I write personal essays about my life experiences, in particular my time teaching in Thailand. Before I traveled to Thailand, while I was there, and when I returned home to the US, I devoured every book I could find that could help me make sense of Thai culture and manage as a farang (foreigner, Westerner) in the Land of Smiles. Here are my five picks for helping other farangs understand Thailand.

Dian's book list on helping “farangs” understand what makes Thailand tick

Why did Dian love this book?

Tom Crowley is an American writer who has experienced Thailand from many perspectives over many decades: as a soldier during the Vietnam War, as a corporate executive, as a US foreign service officer, and as a volunteer at Mercy Centre, a Catholic charitable organization.

This poignant memoir is a series of vignettes that focus on Crowley’s traumatic wartime experiences and the healing he found years later working with desperate children in one of Bangkok’s poorest slums. I picked this book because it shows a part of Thailand that most farangs never see.

By Tom Crowley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mercy's Heroes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Mercy's Heroes, a Vietnam veteran battling with PTSD turns from the business world to life as a volunteer, helping to rescue and protect street kids in Bangkok's biggest slum.

Here Tom Crowley details the children's efforts to survive abuse and the struggle for dignity waged by the poorest of families. Interwoven throughout, the author's combat experiences and pain highlight the question of how to find personal reconciliation amid the struggles of abused children in the slums. In his efforts to help others, he gains a spiritual understanding worth much more than his financial loss. At the same time, he…

If I Run

By Terri Blackstock,

Book cover of If I Run

Ashley Nikole Author Of Fallout

From the list on suspense novels with emotionally intelligent characters.

Who am I?

I love studying the ins/outs of humanity and our interactions, but especially, EI (emotional intelligence). A lot of emphasis is put on being “smart” and analytical (think IQ), but EI is largely ignored. Relationships thrive (and die) on EI! In the novels I write, I explore the emotional side of relationships and how, if we pay attention to this other side of intelligence, beautiful interactions happen. Typically, I don’t find riveting EI in books—and so when I do, I gobble the book up once, then twice, and possibly a third time, then tell everyone I know to GO READ THAT BOOK!

Ashley's book list on suspense novels with emotionally intelligent characters

Why did Ashley love this book?

Who else loves a good “Fall-guy + I’ve-been-framed-for-murder” suspense novel? Kinda like The Fugitive movie with Harrison Ford? 

Casey Cox has been framed for the murder of her boyfriend and is made the target of a national manhunt. I finished reading If I Run at almost three in the morning—it was that riveting. Though the main plot deals with highly emotional elements (PTSD, living on the run, etc.), the subplots are equally as gut-wrenching. Read this book and you will be left with wide eyes and—possibly—a gaping mouth.

By Terri Blackstock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If I Run as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a USA TODAY bestseller!

Casey knows the truth. But it won't set her free.

Casey Cox's DNA is all over the crime scene. There's no use talking to police; they've failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she's arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn't matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That's the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren't adding up.…

Still Time To Die

By Jack Belden,

Book cover of Still Time To Die

John Maxwell Hamilton Author Of Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting

From the list on by foreign correspondents.

Who am I?

A large part of my career has been devoted to foreign affairs. Edgar Snow, Negley Farson, and others whom I read as a young man kindled my interest. I have reported from overseas and at one point developed a specialty in reporting connections between American communities and events overseas. I have published a number of foreign correspondents’ memoirs that were buried in achieves or have been out-of-print and ignored. Most recently I wrote a history of foreign reporting. So, one can say that I have made a career of enjoying books like these. 

John's book list on by foreign correspondents

Why did John love this book?

Though largely forgotten, Jack Belden is one of the best war reporters in American history.

A tormented man, he had PTSD before the term existed. While recovering from wounds sustained during the Allied invasion of Italy, he wrote Still Time to Die. He wrote, “My life, more than that of anyone I know, has been spent in lonely wanderings among the dreary wastelands of war.”

He lived a raw life with regular Chinese soldiers. Of his sensations during a shelling with them, he wrote, “I was not only tingling with delirious excitement, but, to my great astonishment, I realized that I was almost panting with a sexual kind of pleasure, and I found myself leaning against the wind, surrendering to the rough caress of the sand, pulsing and throbbing and thrilling to the crashing, tumultuous orchestration of the shells which were now beating the earth about us with a…

By Jack Belden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Still Time To Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…

A Terrible Revenge

By Alfred-Maurice de Zayas,

Book cover of A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans

Gabriele Goldstone Author Of Crow Stone

From the list on Stalin and Hitler-era for young people and adults.

Who am I?

And, who are you? I write the stories I wish I could have read when I was growing up. As the self-conscious first-born daughter of post-war German/German-Russian immigrants, I looked for my reflection in books. My masters’ degree in 20th German literature only whetted my appetite. I needed more and continued to search for my family’s stories. That search included climbing Hitler's mountain, perusing Soviet secret police files, and cycling through old East Prussia searching for amber. Now I write my own stories even as I continue to read, listen, watch and travel. The past is everywhere.

Gabriele's book list on Stalin and Hitler-era for young people and adults

Why did Gabriele love this book?

This book opened the window to my mom and her sisters’ experiences in the last months of the war. I was blown away. It validated my mom’s memories in a way that no other book had up to this point. Growing up on the Canadian prairies I had little patience for my family’s memories filled with pain and suffering. Finally, I understood, that my mom had her own PTSD... something that I inherited and I feel compelled to explore.

By Alfred-Maurice de Zayas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Terrible Revenge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The genocidal barbarism of the Nazi forces has been well documented. What is little known is the fate of fifteen million German civilians who found themselves on the wrong side of new postwar borders. All over Eastern Europe, the inhabitants of communities that had been established for many centuries were either expelled or killed. Over two million Germans did not survive. Some of these people had supported Hitler, but the great majority were guiltless. In A Terrible Revenge, de Zayas describes this horrible retribution. This new edition includes an updated foreword, epilogue and additional information from recent interviews with the…

The Long Take

By Robin Robertson,

Book cover of The Long Take: A Noir Narrative

Ward Howarth Author Of River City Blues

From the list on WWII era reads no crime fiction fan should miss.

Who am I?

I’m an author, reader, and cinephile with a real appetite for all things crime. If it’s a mystery, if it’s a detective story, if there are questionable morals at play in a story with no easy answers and no clear way out, then count me in. I’m also fascinated by the WWII era and was spellbound by the stories my maternal grandfather told me about his time as an infantry soldier in Italy during the war. These passions moved me to write my own novels and continue to inspire me in my embrace of art. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I do!

Ward's book list on WWII era reads no crime fiction fan should miss

Why did Ward love this book?

Robin Robertson’s noir narrative The Long Take might seem like an unusual choice for this list.

Essentially a long noir poem, The Long Take concerns Walker, a Canadian veteran of D-Day with acute PTSD who finds life unraveling in the urban landscapes he inhabits after the war.

With a poet’s precision, Robertson follows Walker as he moves from city to city, taking it all in. Homelessness, crime, race—nothing is spared.

Why, you’d think you were in a 40s film noir, reading about it all, and then you find Walker on the streets of LA in 1948 seeing some of those very films being shot, films like Act of Violence and Criss Cross.

An outstanding achievement, The Long Take is a wholly original work of art.

By Robin Robertson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Long Take as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018

Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize 2018

Winner of The Roehampton Poetry Prize 2018

Winner of the 2019 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

'A beautiful, vigorous and achingly melancholy hymn to the common man that is as unexpected as it is daring.' --John Banville, Guardian

A noir narrative written with the intensity and power of poetry, The Long Take is one of the most remarkable - and unclassifiable - books of recent years.

Walker is a D-Day veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder; he can't return home to rural Nova Scotia, and looks instead…

Book cover of Break Through with Breathwork: Jump-Starting Personal Growth in Counseling and the Healing Arts

Dan Brulé Author Of Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork

From the list on breath and breathing.

Who am I?

I am one of the earliest pioneers of the Modern Breathwork Movement and recognized as a leading expert and authority in the field. I have been studying and practicing the Art and Science of Breathwork since 1970, and I have published a Breath and Breathing Report every month since 1976. I have traveled to over 65 countries and trained more than 250,000 people, including navy SEALs, first responders, Olympic athletes, psychotherapists, medical doctors, nurses, hospice workers, spiritual counselors, corporate executives, yogis, meditation teachers, and celebrities such as Tony Robbins. I am the Founder and Director of The International Center for Breathwork, and The Breathing Festival. 

Dan's book list on breath and breathing

Why did Dan love this book?

Jim is the creator of Therapeutic Breathwork. He was the first clinical psychologist in America to fully integrate breathwork into his practice, and he has been a leading voice in the breathing world for nearly fifty years. He brings a wealth of experience in the healing of trauma, and he teaches people to use breathwork to meet everyday challenges, for life-long personal growth, and for spiritual awakening. He introduces a brilliant model of “Six Body Themes” and “Six Major Breathing Patterns” with specific coaching tips and goals related to each. This book addresses breathwork ethics and standards. It contains game-changing advice and techniques for professional practitioners, bodyworkers, counselors, therapists, and anyone interested in self-actualization and liberation.

By Jim Morningstar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Break Through with Breathwork as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When working with trauma and chronic health issues, it can often seem like the healing process gets stuck or is producing only minimal progress. In this groundbreaking book, clinical psychologist Jim Morningstar, PhD, shows therapists, bodyworkers, and other health care professionals how to achieve remarkable breakthroughs with their clients using the power of Therapeutic Breathwork.  

Unlike more commonly known mindfulness breathwork techniques—which typically only involve slower-than-normal breathing—Therapeutic Breathwork is designed to also include faster-than-normal breathing (35–75 breaths per minute) to enervate the sympathetic nervous system. This is especially useful in helping to release blocks that arise while working through difficult…

The Evil Hours

By David J. Morris,

Book cover of The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Prentis Rollins Author Of The Furnace: A Graphic Novel

From Prentis' 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Philosophy fan Sci-fi afficianado Comicbook artist Graphic-novelist Father

Prentis' 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Prentis love this book?

Six months ago, I lost someone very close to me to suicide. This person had been suffering for years from complex post-traumatic stress disorder due to traumas endured both as a child and an adult.

I read this book in an attempt to understand more about the nature of PTSD, its causes and consequences.

The book is a harrowing account of the torment caused by PTSD, but also a history of the birth and development of the whole concept of PTSD (it gained recognition as a disorder thanks to the efforts of a group of Vietnam vets in the 1970s), and a history of its predecessors (so-called shell-shock and combat fatigue).

Morris’s book is deeply personal, compelling, and exhaustively researched—highly recommended.

By David J. Morris,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Evil Hours as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“An essential book” on PTSD, an all-too-common condition in both military veterans and civilians (The New York Times Book Review).
Post-traumatic stress disorder afflicts as many as 30 percent of those who have experienced twenty-first-century combat—but it is not confined to soldiers. Countless ordinary Americans also suffer from PTSD, following incidences of abuse, crime, natural disasters, accidents, or other trauma—yet in many cases their symptoms are still shrouded in mystery, secrecy, and shame.
This “compulsively readable” study takes an in-depth look at the subject (Los Angeles Times). Written by a war correspondent and former Marine with firsthand experience of this…

Mrs. Dalloway

By Virginia Woolf,

Book cover of Mrs. Dalloway

Maggie Humm Author Of Radical Woman: Gwen John & Rodin

From Maggie's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Woolfian Gym devotee World-traveller

Maggie's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Maggie love this book?

One of the most moving, and revolutionary novels of the twentieth century, especially for those of us lucky to live in the world’s most marvellous city – London.

Society hostess, Clarissa Dalloway is giving a party and remembering her past loves as she walks around London. Elsewhere in the city, Septimus Warren Smith is suffering from WW1 shellshock and on the brink of madness. Smith's day interweaves with that of Clarissa and her friends, their lives converging as the party reaches its sparkling climax.

Virginia Woolf's masterly novel, in which she perfected the interior monologue, brings past and present together on one momentous day in June. ‘What she loved; life; London; this moment of June’. For lovers of London and literature everywhere.

By Virginia Woolf,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Mrs. Dalloway as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The working title of Mrs. Dalloway was The Hours. The novel began as two short stories, "Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street" and the unfinished "The Prime Minister". It describes Clarissa's preparations for a party she will host in the evening, and the ensuing party. With an interior perspective, the story travels forward and back in time and in and out of the characters' minds to construct an image of Clarissa's life and of the inter-war social structure.

In October 2005, Mrs. Dalloway was included on Time's list of the 100 best English-language novels written since Time debuted in 1923.

Waking the Tiger

By Peter A. Levine,

Book cover of Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma

Karin Blak Author Of The Essential Companion to Talking Therapy: Everything You Need to Know about the Therapy Journey

From the list on how we can all be affected by trauma and recovery.

Who am I?

Throughout my life as a therapist, I have focused on couple and family relationships, including the relationship we have with ourselves. When trauma was beginning to be recognised as something most people can and do experience, when we began to realise that it isn’t just front-line combat soldiers who get traumatised, I began my journey into how trauma affects our relationships. My study of trauma and relationships has helped my work with clients and, without naming their experiences as trauma, has moved them on from re-enacting the damage caused to them or unknowingly inflicting the same on others. 

Karin's book list on how we can all be affected by trauma and recovery

Why did Karin love this book?

This is the book that introduced me to trauma recovery and to a world of therapy where talking is just a small part. The idea that trauma sits in the body, is stored in us physically, was completely new to me. Reading Taming the Tiger opened my eyes to the trauma of my childhood I personally was carrying. 

I read Taming the Tiger at the beginning of my journey to becoming a therapist. It isn’t an academic book, but one that is very accessible and opened my eyes to actions I was unable to take at the point of trauma, the reasons why, and how this stored up energy can be released. It set the scene for my independent curiosity into working with the body to shift the damage caused by our past experiences.

By Peter A. Levine,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Waking the Tiger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in 24 languages.

Nature's Lessons in Healing Trauma...

Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.

Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on…

Among You

By Jake Wood,

Book cover of Among You: The Extraordinary True Story of a Soldier Broken By War

Joe Talon Author Of Counting Crows

From the list on spooky minds and old soldiers who never give up.

Who am I?

I’ve written about war for years. To be honest, it all began in school when we studied the terrible events of The Great War. Hearing the hearts shatter of men on the frontline never left me. I wanted to understand. I needed to understand. PTSD is something I’m familiar with, even if I’ve never been on the front line in battle. I’m also obsessed with myths, legends, ghost stories, and mysteries. My Lorne Turner series combines my passions and the books shine a light, in fiction, on what happens to old soldiers when they come home.

Joe's book list on spooky minds and old soldiers who never give up

Why did Joe love this book?

This is a story that deals with old soldiers who never give up. It’s the story of Jake surviving Afghanistan as a serving soldier. I write about soldiers with PTSD, so it’s important I study the area, and it can be tough. Really tough. Heartbreaking to read about the effects of war on the mind of a soldier. I’ve read several, but this one really knocked me for six. It’s an educated, intelligent narrative about a young life full of honour, duty, passion, and hope. Then he goes to war. If we are ever to understand why war is so terrible, then we need to listen to those on the front line. Highly recommended for those brave enough.

By Jake Wood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Among You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Among You is the gripping real-life story of a soldier serving on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an unforgettable, unflinching account of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jake Wood lives parallel lives: encased in the glass tower of an international investment bank by day, he is also a dedicated TA soldier who serves on the front line during the invasion of Iraq, later returning to the war zone to conduct surveillance on insurgents. Disillusioned with the dullness and amorality of the banking world, he escapes back to the army for a third tour of duty. But…